James Purdy is arguing that Wikipedia is challenging conventional understandings of traditional writing by introducing a collaborative method of knowledge sharing. By analyzing the archive, design, and writing of Wikipedia, James Purdy argues that Wikipedia is not only a platform used for editing, but a resource used for adding ideas as well as creating connections between various sources of information. In his essay, readers will find the benefits and downfalls of Wikipedia.
- Wikipedia allows quick changes to the contents so it makes easier to correct mistakes.
- Wikipedia does keep an archive history tracking changes in pages.
- Wikipedia gives the public opportunities of discussing and collaborating on the contents.
- Wikipedia allows the texts of knowledge that is different from the traditional scholarly citation and authority.
- Wikipedia connects pages with topics that are related to each other- interconnected resources.
On Wikipedia, the page on feces is one of the many examples that can be used for Purdy's argument. The page on feces isn't up to date as often as some of the other Wikipedia pages, making the context less accurate and easily overlooked. Since there is such an easy access to the editing tool, the amount of revisions that were done by co-authors can sometimes be unnecessary.
Potential counterarguments for this passage could be about how the Wikis are close to accurate and usable data. Because Wikis are created from a variety of different levels of education, it makes it hard to know what is the truth and what is opinion. It can be contested that Wikis are not a good source of information, and students should not resort to using it when they have larger scale projects because it is difficult to verify if the information came from a credited source.
Another example is that the author states that Wikipedia just connects citations at the end of the pages, but does not use them within the body paragraphs. This also suggests that Wikipedia can not be considered a credible source of information. Along these lines, citations that connect pages always lead to the most current revision of a page, rather than the original sourcing of a page.
Along the lines of editing, some entries do not get many views or edits, and the most popular are continually edited and revised. This pushes away people from “littler” topics, and these pages are sometimes hardly touched. Wikipedia needs to start focusing on these topics more.
Because Wikipedia is a continuous collaboration of information, users tend to add recent knowledge to a page, but do not always return to correct less current information.